Three-time Tony winner Bernadette Peters is helping some furry friends find forever homes. This weekend marks the return of the New York theater community’s biggest animal adoption event. Broadway Barks will take place on Saturday in Shubert Alley starting at 3 p.m. The event is co-hosted by Sutton Foster and Broadway Barks, co-founder Bernadette Peters.
On Stage host, Frank DiLella caught up with Peters with the help of a special guest to talk, shining the spotlight on some lucky pups and more. Here is an edited portion of their interview:
Frank DiLella: Bernadette, congratulations, Broadway Barks is back this year and in-person.
Bernadette Peters: In-person! For the first time in three years, we’re so excited.
Frank DiLella: How Did Broadway barks get started?
Bernadette Peters: Well, I was in “Annie Get Your Gun” so that was 1999, I think. And we won the “Easter Bonnet” and we were feeling so good. We thought, what else can we do? And I said, well, I was just at the city shelter and they really need help. And we said, well, why don’t we, you know, do dog adoption in Shubert Alley and we’ll, you know, call, all the celebrities will come out between the shows. And I said, and my friend, Mary Tyler Moore, I’m sure will help us cause she’s a big animal lover. So she said, sure, I’ll help. And we called the Shubert’s. They said, ‘Great. Just make sure, you know, you pick up the poop’ and that was no big issue. And it was the first time that all the rescue groups, the grassroots rescue groups worked together because it was 24 years ago. And in those days, just everybody was just, you know, doing whatever they could to help, which I just think is such a beautiful thing. And we only really had six shelters back then. I couldn’t even believe because now we have like 28, that’s all we can fit in the alley. We can’t fit anymore.
Frank DiLella: How does that make you feel to know that so many folks have adopted their furry family members from this event?
Bernadette Peters: It feels so good because people thought rescued dogs, there was something wrong with them. There was nothing wrong with them. They were homeless, basically. And I always knew that these beautiful creatures had an important purpose, and they certainly proved themselves to be important when the pandemic happened and people just needed that companionship. I’m excited that Broadway Barks is live again because the energy in the alley is so remarkable because you have all these beings that are pure of heart, the animals and the people that come there with love in their heart, cause they’re gonna, you know, find somebody, a companion.